The Honda Fit is the Japanese brand’s smallest and most affordable offering in North America. The front-wheel-drive, front-engined subcompact hatchback is currently in its third generation and first came to the U.S. market for the 2007 model year, but was sold since 2001 in other markets as the Honda Jazz. Other markets like Europe and Japan also got a hybrid version and the Fit was even sold as a limited-production EV in select markets in the U.S. The Honda Fit sits under the popular Honda Civic in the automaker’s lineup.
When the Fit first came to our market, it got a lot of praise for setting a new benchmark for a segment that was usually cheap and not much else. The Fit proved that drivers don’t have to be punished for being on a budget and that cheap and also be cheerful.
The Honda Fit is unique in its segment for offering excellent driving dynamics along with a huge cargo capacity that belies its tiny footprint and is competitive with much larger vehicles. The second-row Magic Seats also make more versatile than other subcompact crossovers by allowing the rear seat cushions to be flipped up, making more room for taller items.
The Honda Fit models sold in North America are built in Mexico along with the HR-V that it shares a platform with, but there are other Fit manufacturing facilities that serve other markets. The Honda Fit is also one of AutoGuide.com‘s picks for the Top 10 Best Cars for Teens.
Pros/ Magic Seats, Huge cargo capacity, fun to drive, cheap and cheerful
Cons/ Can be slow, noisy, a bit low on features
Bottom Line/ The Honda Fit is an excellent choice for drivers on a budget. Its huge cargo capacity and good driving dynamics helps set it apart from the competition.
Table of contents
Honda Fit Specs
Engine: 1.5L four-cylinder
Horsepower: 130 hp (manual), 128 hp (CVT)
Torque: 114 lb-ft (manual), 113 lb-ft (CVT)
Transmission: 6-speed manual or CVT
Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
Seating Capacity: 5
Cargo Capacity: 16.6 cu ft (seats up)/ 52.7 cu ft (seats down)
Honda Fit Fuel Ecoomy
The Honda Fit has a 10.6-gallon fuel tank and runs on regular unleaded fuel. Since there’s only one available powertrain, the fuel economy ratings are relatively simple.
Models with the manual transmission are rated at 29 mpg city, 36 highway, and 31 combined.
Ratings for the base model with a CVT are 33 mpg city, 40 highway, and 36 combined, while the Sport and higher trims get slightly lower economy at 31 mpg city, 36 highway, and 33 combined.
Honda Fit Safety Rating
The Honda Fit scored “Good” on all its crash tests, the highest rating a vehicle can get. Unfortunately, the Fit’s headlights were only rated “Marginal” or “Poor” depending on trim, which held it back from being a Top Safety Pick. Luckily, the front crash prevention system got a “Superior” rating, which is impressive for its class. The Honda Fit is available with the Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance and safety features that includes collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist. The Fit’s LATCH child seat anchors got an “Acceptable” rating, meaning they were easy to use, but they could have been better.
Honda Fit Features
The Honda Fit has many features that we don’t often see on cars this small or this affordable.
One standout feature in the Honda Fit that makes it unique in its segment is the Magic Seats, which come standard. This allows you to flip the rear seat cushion up easily so you can store taller items upright that might not even fit in the trunk. This is an excellent feature that gives drivers some added versatility. The front seat can also be reclined all the way back to hold even longer items.
Other notable standard features include hill start assist (manual and CVT models), multi-angle reverse camera, tire pressure monitoring, LED brake lights, a five-inch screen, 1.0-amp USB port, Bluetooth, air conditioning, power windows and more.
Honda Sensing is available on all trims and it includes collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist. Honda LaneWatch comes standard on higher trim levels. Honda uses this instead of traditional blind spot monitoring — a camera on the passenger side mirror shows a live feed of whatever is in that blind spot whenever the right signal is being used. It’s not a replacement for doing a shoulder check, but it is a good final check for motorcyclist or bicyclists if you often drive in the city.
Automatic highbeams, foglights, moonroof, smart entry with automatic locking when you walk away, a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 1.5-amp USB port, and navigation are also available or standard on higher trims.
Honda Fit Pricing
The pricing below does not include the $920 destination fee.
The most affordable Honda Fit you can buy is the base LX model, which starts at $16,190 for a model with a six-speed manual transmission. Getting a CVT transmission will only cost an extra $800. If you want Honda Sensing, which is only available with the CVT, that’s an extra $1,000.
Next up is the Honda Fit Sport, which starts at $17,500. Again, the CVT costs an extra $800, and Honda Sensing is another $1,000 on top of that. The Sport model gets some cosmetic upgrades like foglights, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 16-inch black wheels, chrome exhaust finisher, a front underbody spoiler and rear diffuser with orange accents, and side underbody spoilers. The upgraded 7-inch touchscreen also becomes standard on this trim along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the upgrded 180-watt audio system with 8 speakers, 1.5-amp USB interface,
The Honda Fit EX starts at $18,160 plus another $800 if you want the automatic transmission. Honda Sensing becomes standard equipment on this trim, along with a moonroof, smart entry, variable intermittent wipers, push-button start, cargo tie-down anchors, sliding sunvisors, and floor mats.
The Honda Fit EX-L is the highest trim model available and it only comes with a CVT. Pricing starts at $20,520 and the EX-L with Navigation costs $1,000 more. Other features included on this trim are heated body-color side mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and shift knob.
Honda Fit Competitors
The Honda Fit competes with other subcompact hatchbacks like the Hyundai Accent, Toyota Yaris, Kia Rio, Chevrolet Sonic or Chevrolet Spark, MINI Cooper, Ford Fiesta, Nissan Versa, Fiat 500, Mitsubishi Mirage, and Nissan Micra (not sold the U.S.).
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Future Honda Fit Plans
The Honda Fit was recently refreshed, but an all-new model is due out for the 2020 model year. But seeing that automakers are spending more time and funds on profitable crossovers, the new Fit might not even make it to North America.
Honda has confirmed the next Fit will be available as a hybrid in other markets and a full EV might also be on the table. Some rumors also say the next Fit could get a turbocharged 1.0L engine. Spy photos also show that the Fit might get a more rugged look with roof rails and some body cladding. In fact, we have discovered patent applications that indicate a lifted Fit crossover might debut called the Honda Fit Crosstar.
It would also make sense if Honda Sensing was made standard equipment and other tech like wireless phone charging or even a heated steering wheel were added to future models. All of these will definitely drive the price up.
Honda Fit Review
By Benjamin Hunting
It’s rare that a modern car stands out not just for what it is, but also the potential for what it could be.
It’s even rarer for that vehicle to be a Honda, a company that has spent the past decade or so concentrating on perfecting the practicality, efficiency, and reliability of its entire fleet of sensible, just-this-side of exciting automobiles. You may have noticed a distinct lack of fun on that list of descriptors — but don’t tell that to the Honda Fit Sport, which joins the Civic Type R in providing Honda fans a chance to actually enjoy their commute.
By now, half of you have probably tuned out. Comparing the lowly, sub-$20k Fit Sport ($21k CAD) to Honda’s super-hyped performance flagship? How, exactly, does this subcompact hatch manage to find itself in the same conversation as its turbocharged road course-devouring sibling?
All The Light Moves
The answer lies in the intangibles that can define a car’s personality far better than what might be suggested by its spec sheet. Take, for example, the “Sport” in the Fit Sport’s name, a badge that adds athleticism to the front-driver in the same way that zipping up a Puma tracksuit enables you to run the hundred-yard dash. It’s purely a cosmetic package for the pint-sized Honda that includes unique stitching on the car’s seats, snazzy 16-inch blacked rims, the requisite spoilers and diffusers, as well as fog lights and a hint of body kit on the rocker panels.
That being said, time spent behind the wheel of the Honda Fit Sport is more than enough to distract you from the perceived inadequacies of the car’s equipment list. Keen eyes still lingering on the hatch’s facts and figures might have noticed that the Fit’s power-to-weight ratio isn’t all that far off from what you’d get in a first-generation Miata, and while its tall greenhouse might be more minivan than MX-5, the Sport feels noticeably more nimble than contemporaries like the Nissan Versa Note when asked to pirouette. It’s all part and parcel of the completely redesigned Fit’s focus on structural stiffness, more direct steering, and a renewed focus on suspension refinement.
Indeed, the fact that the Fit Sport is a 2,500-pound car with a short, square wheelbase is no accident, and combined with its available six-speed manual gearbox, it’s an absolute pleasure to toss to and fro at the speed limit-friendly velocities made possible by its 130 horsepower, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. You’d be hard-pressed to beat anyone for their lunch money from light to light, and there’s more than a little hoover from under the hood when winding the mini-four out to its 6,800 rpm redline, but work it and it’s worth it in terms of keeping the Fit feeling lively and fun.
It begs the question, however, of just how enticing this chassis would be were it to be whipped into a frenzy by any one of Honda’s similarly sized turbo four-cylinder drivetrains sizzling in the parts bin.
Big Where It Counts
Despite the car’s Sport marketing angle, fun remains a stealth aspect of the Honda Fit’s value proposition. At its core, the Fit surprises small car shoppers by delivering an absolutely enormous cabin that not only swallows four riders with relative ease (even in its rear row) but also a whopping 52.7 cubic feet (1,492 liters) of cargo space with the back seats folded flat. The car’s cavernous maw is enough to challenge several significantly larger SUVs in terms of sheer usefulness, and this utility is made even more approachable by way of Honda’s Magic Seat feature, which allows for multiple cargo configurations designed to better handle unusually large or tall items.
Then there’s the frugality. While I might not have been able to match Honda Fit Sport’s 31-mpg (7.4 L/100 km) combined rating during our week together — mostly because I was more interested in “smileage” than mileage — it’s certainly not out of the question that a more prudent driver might over-achieve in this department. For those who have a strict zero fun policy, the Fit is also available with a continuously variable automatic transmission that increases its combined fuel economy by 5 miles per gallon.
Best of Most Worlds
It’s not all perfection in Fit country. Any car of this size, and at the Honda’s affordable price point, is liable to be noisier on the highway than one would like, and while comfort is good on longer trips, the Sport trim doesn’t deliver much dazzle past heated seats, a decent touchscreen infotainment system, and cruise control in terms of comfort gear (although you do get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto). You’ll have to pay more for active safety (under the Honda Sensing banner), but you can still get stuff like lane departure warning and forward collision warning with a manual transmission if you do choose to tick that options box.
The Verdict: Honda Fit Review
The Honda Fit has long stood as the entry point to the brand for budget-conscious buyers, and the Sport model certainly underlines in red ink exactly why this vehicle continues to be the standard-bearer in its segment. If a sports car fan like me can be surprised by just how engaging this inexpensive marvel is to drive, then those who are shopping based on internal bigness and eternal reliability will be flabbergasted the first time they encounter a set of country S-curves. Now, if only someone at the head office in Minato-ku would loosen the reins enough to allow a turbocharged option under the hood of this plucky puller, there might be a lower-case ‘r’ to give the quickest Civic the running mate it deserves.
|Engine /||1.5L four-cylinder|
|Horsepower /||130 (manual), 128 (CVT)|
|Torque /||114 lb-ft (manual), 113 lb-ft (CVT)|
|Transmission /||6-speed manual / CVT|
|Drivetrain /||Front-wheel drive|
|Seating Capacity /||5|
|Cargo Capacity /||16.6 cu ft (seats up)/ 52.7 cu ft (seats down)|
Our Final Verdict
The Honda Fit is an excellent choice for a driver looking for an affordable and efficient yet fun car that is easy to maneuver, has a small footprint, and a huge cargo capacity. The Fit’s clever cargo area configurations help it stand out among its peers for offering space that can rival much larger and more expensive cars.4.8